By Juliet Umeh
Recognising the innovations he has brought into one of the Nigerian telecommunications service providers, Airtel, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, has been named the Africa Industry Personality of the Year.
The award came from the editorial board of the African Leadership Magazine, organizers of the prestigious African Business Leadership Awards 2020.
Ogunsanya was presented the award at a virtual ceremony which was widely attended by prominent personalities, including H.E. former President, Republic of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma; Governor, National Bank of Rwanda John Rwangombwa; Minister of Finance, Ethiopia, Ahmed Shide; Nakuru County Governor, Kenya, Lee Kinyanjui; MD NNPC Group Nigeria, Mele Kyari among others.
According to the Magazine, the Industry Personality of the Year award recognizes the individual whose vision and innovations have become drivers of growth in particular industry sectors and permanently impacted the way of doing business in that particular sector.
Ogunsanya emerged winner after a three-step points-based selection process that included a call for nomination; a call for online voting for shortlisted nominees; and the editorial board’s final review of the nominations and voting submissions. The online voting was responsible for 65 percentage points and supporting evidence responsible for 35 percent in the final selection process for the 2020 winners.
Other contestants in the Industry Personality of the Year award category were Joao Figueiredo, CEO, Moza Banco, Mozambique (who emerged first runner-up) and Paul Gbededo, CEO, Flour Mills of Nigeria Commenting on the recognition, Ogunsanya expressed appreciation to his colleagues for their support and backing while he dedicated the award to Airtel Nigeria customers as well as other telecoms consumers and stakeholders across the continent.
He said: “This award is a special present to me, as we celebrate our 60th anniversary. This couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you,” he said.
The keenly contested awards attracted over 220, 000 entries on the magazine’s website and across social media platforms, as well as submissions via email from Africans across the continent and in Diaspora.
Ogunsanya and the other 16 winners of the African Business Leadership Awards 2020 were presented with an award trophy and formally decorated with the instruments of the honour at the 5th US – Africa Investment Forum & Policy Dialogue 2020.
The Publisher of the Magazine, Dr Ken Giami while unveiling the winners, maintained that “Africa depends on businesses and its leaders for sustenance, jobs and wealth creation.”
The Publisher stated that “at this time when there are widespread disruptions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the role and place of the business community to not only serve their clients, but become strong positive references for society on how to thrive amidst uncertainties, and inspire hope in people’s ability to aspire to solve more of the problems facing the African people today, is more important than ever.”
“Our winners and all the nominees truly deserve to be recognized for the outstanding work they have done over the last year, and they continue to do for the development of our continent,” Dr Giami added.